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Poll number Preference Poll for Third Game Courier Tournament. Sign up for the 3rd Game Courier tournament by voting in this poll.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric V. Greenwood wrote on 2007-06-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Hi Jeremy!
 Please call me-I am offline, and your phone # is not working.  I am at 
(813) 654-4165.
  If anyone else has a way to reach Jeremy, please pass this message on to
him. Or if anyone wants to contact me about any of my Variants, leave a
message w/ name and #. If i am home, i will answer, otherwise i will call

    Eric V. Greenwood

  P.S. thanks to my friend Chris for allowing me to get this message out! 

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-09-07 UTC
Results changed after I deleted Roberto Lavieri's ballot. They will change again if anyone else drops out before I get the tournament started.

carlos carlos wrote on 2006-09-06 UTC
huh? that list has changed!

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-09-06 UTC
me too, because it is listed below :)

carlos carlos wrote on 2006-09-06 UTC
wow, i'm surprised pocket mutation chess missed out.

Greg Strong wrote on 2006-09-03 UTC
Only 5 hours left. Any last signups or vote chanages? I like the selection of games, but I do wish Grand Shatranj D was doing better.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-08-10 UTC
Some time after Labor Day.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-08-10 UTC
When will the third game courier tournament actually begin?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-20 UTC
As long as Switching Chess doesn't have a preset that enforces rules, it is likely that the situation will be the same as last time, with individual pairs of opponents deciding which rules to follow. My own preference is for Greg Strong's suggestion that a King may not switch when in check, but I am in favor of letting Tony Quintanilla, the game's inventor, rule on which rules should be followed.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-20 UTC
Mir Chess and Joe Joyce's various Shatranj variants are all ranked low right now, and I think this could be mainly due to a desire among the voters to not let in too many games that are very similar to each other. I think their best chance is to throw their lots in with related games. This is not about similar games competing with each other. All the games are already competing with each other. This is about a prisoner's dilemma type of situation in which certain games may increase their prospects by throwing their lots together into a common pool. When each game is on its own, and some games are closely related, some voters will vote for one and penalize others to prevent the whole group from getting in. When only one member of the group is allowed in the tournament, then the motive for penalizing some related games is not there, and all the related games are likely to get higher rankings, increasing the chances that one will get in. Since Joe Joyce doesn't want Modern Shatranj to hurt the chances of Mir Chess getting in, what I will do is group Joe's Shatranj variants together. This will help increase the chances that both David and Joe will get one of their games into the tournament.

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
[Mir Chess 32] will be my choice for 'best variant with elephants', if I ever get around to voting in this poll. I followed the somewhat unusual design course of starting with FIDE Chess and moving back in time, looking for weaker, more primitive, pieces.

[Modern Shatranj] is my second choice. Joe took the opposite design course of starting with Shatranj and moving forward. All things considered, I am willing to go along with the proposal by Fergus to group this game with my Mir Chess variants.

[Mir Chess 36] is my third choice - originally an attempt to squeeze most of the Shako pieces onto an 8x8 board.

[Shako] therefore becomes my fourth choice. Judging by the latest poll results, Shako may well be the only one of these four games to make it into the tournament. While I still have some misgivings about playing with short range pieces like elephants on a 10x10 board, I also believe that it would be an interesting game to play.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
In regard to Switching Chess, if played in the tournament will it be up to
the players (of their specific game)to determine which switching rules apply?  For example:

1. King in Check can switch
2. King in Check Cannot Switch
3. Pinned piece (pinned to King) can switch
4. Pinned piece (pinned to King) cannot switch

Thank you

James Spratt wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
Who WAS that Masked Man? (Da-da-lump, da-da-lump, da-da-lump-lump-lump! An' a mighty Hiyo, SILVER!!!)

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
Fergus, if I had my preferences, I'd like to see Grand Shatranj D, Great Shatranj D, and Modern Shatranj, in that order. I made the large variants with rooks strictly to accomodate those who feel more comfortable using rooks in shatranj-style games. Also, I playtested David Paulowich's Mir 36 and I can state that the game has a totally different character than Modern Shatranj. This is your tournament, and while I may complain that the rules changed between the first and second votes, it is clear that the final form will be what you decide. I would argue that, in general, chess variants tend to be [very] overpowered. I truly believe that MS, GtS, and GdS are all very fine games that explore what almost nobody has looked at, variants with short and intermediate-range pieces, in a systematic way. What you do with my games may well be moot, as they are mostly languishing in last place, but one thing I would ask is that you keep MS and David's fine Mir variants apart. I think that those games should stand or fall strictly on their own merits, and not have to compete with each other. David and I have very different, maybe opposite, styles, and should the highly unlikely happen, I would not want both of his games knocked out by one of mine. I would rather you lumped all my games together than let that happen. Joe

no one wrote on 2006-07-19 UTCGood ★★★★
You have answered my questions well and in the process given what I
is a good explanation of the basics of the Condorcet method. For this I
thank you. Your explanations and my followups have given me good reason
believe that the method is all you say it is. Its flaws you have not
or minimized; I see them as two. One is the random nature of a tiebreak,
although that is a lesser flaw than many other methods. The other is that
it  gives the least objectionable results which is something different
than most elections, and I can live with this too. So I leave you with

The method you use is certainly appropriate for its purpose and has many
nice features. I think those who followed this thread will generally
that it is a worthy method and will be happy to see it used in the
Many might wish you had stuck with the original configuration of the
method for this tournament's second round of voting. This is the one
where I still have substantial disagreement with your decisions.

My purpose was not to harrass or exasperate you, but to gain what I could
for all involved and to register disapproval of those things I believed
were wrong without creating any personal animosity. By maintaining
anonymity I hope I have achieved the latter. I oppose the creation of
factions and do not like what I have seen of flame wars regardless of
provocation. I hope I have been reasonably cordial generally; enough so
that you did not feel that attacks were directed at you personally rather
than some of your actions and decisions. For those times I have gone
across the line, I apologize. 

While I still disagree with some of your decisions I believe it is time
leave and allow the individuals involved or possibly the voting body to
continue this argument if they so desire. You have been an honorable if
unpredictable and somewhat inconsistant and arbitrary opponent but that
often the nature of genius. I am certainly not all I wish to be, not that
claim to be anything special. Your involvement in the creation and
maintenance of this site is something special. I look forward to meeting
you over a chessboard in the future. Goodbye.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
Whether we say Alice Chess is in second or third place is going to make no
difference to how MAM operates, because it does not make any use of
absolute ordinal values. What it compares are individual pairs of
candidates. For each pair of candidates, it notes which one has more
frequently been ranked above the other. From this it creates a list of
majorities. A majority is an ordered pair of candidates, which includes
information on how many voters favored each candidate. If there are no
cycles in the list of majorities, then it establishes the final ranking of
the candidates, and the top ranked candidate is the condorcet winner. When
there are cycles in the list, such as (A, B), (B, C), and (C, A), it
derives a subset of the majorities that are consistent with each other,
and it uses this subset to establish the final ranking. It does this by
sorting them, then it goes down the list affirming each pair that is
consistent with all previously affirmed pairs, and affirming additional
pairs that can be logically derived from sets of previously affirmed
pairs. By this method, it maximizes the number of affirmed majorities,
hence the name of the method. The sorting function compares two majorities
only with each other, and when they are equal to each other in all relevant
ways, it sorts them according to the results of the strict tie-break
ranking, which is previously established by randomly picking ballots until
enough preferences are collected to establish a strict ordering of the
candidates. The order in which the majorities go will make a difference
only when there are cycles in the list. When there are no cycles, all
majorities will be affirmed.

In general, placing Alice Chess below both versions of Mir Chess should no
more hurt Alice Chess's chance than placing it below only one game would.
If both versions of Mir Chess come out ahead of Alice Chess, one will be
thrown out, and everything below it will be pulled up in the rankings.
When there are cycles in the votes, this will have no effect on the
ordering of most of the majorities involving Alice Chess. The main effect
it will have will be on the ordering of the majority involving both Alice
Chess and Mir Chess, and, if yours is the deciding vote, it will make it a
majority for Mir Chess rather than Alice Chess. This will increase the
chances of affirming the majority of Mir Chess over Alice Chess.

no one wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
This may well be my final question. I wish to play both Mir and Alice. I rate Mir36 as my first choice and I also rate Mir32 as tied for first place. I then rate Alice Chess next. Is the ranking of Alice 2 or 3? Have I hurt Alice in placing both Mir variants first?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
I have added two new sets of similar games. These involve some of my games.
One set is Storm the Ivory Tower and Yáng Qí. They are no more similar than
almost any two Chess variants, but they are both based on Chinese Chess and
were created by the same inventor. When I was voting, I was feeling that
although I would like either game in the tournament, I didn't really feel
the need to have both in the tournament. In particular, I really want Storm
the Ivory Tower in the tournament, and I would want Yáng Qí in only if
Storm the Ivory Tower didn't make it.

The other set is Crazyhouse and Shatranji. Both are similar to but better
than Chessgi, but overall, I think Shatranji is the superior game, because
the less powerful pieces of Shatranj are better suited to a game with drops
than the more powerful pieces of Chess are.

I will also recommend rejoining Great Shatranj and Grand Shatranj into one
group, and adding Modern Shatranj to the Mir Chess group. I would be
interested in having either Great or Grand Shatranj in the tournament but
don't feel much need to include both. I think the chance of one making it
into the tournament is better if they are grouped together. Likewise,
Modern Shatranj seems to have much the same appeal as Mir Chess. But I
will let their inventors weigh in on this before making these changes.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
When I ran the first tournament, I did the same thing I'm doing in this one. I placed some games into sets of similar games with the stipulation that only one game from each set would make it into the tournament. There were five sets in all, and one game from four of those sets each made it into the tournament. These were Anti-King Chess II, Take Over Chess in 64 Squares, Eurasian Chess, and Grand Chess. So it doesn't look like this practice is going to hurt the chances of getting one game from each set into the tournament. In fact, this practice is introduced to protect the games in each set from getting lower ratings because some people choose to penalize one and not the other to prevent a pair of similar games from getting into the tournament. For example, suppose that someone wants Mir Chess in the tournament, but he doesn't want both Mir Chess 32 and Mir Chess 36 in the tournament. So he gives a high ranking to Mir Chess 32 and a low ranking to Mir Chess 36. Someone else with the same wishes may give a high ranking to Mir Chess 36 and a low ranking to Mir Chess 32. As a result, both forms of Mir Chess are now rated lower than they would be if the voters knew they could give equally high ratings to both games without fear of putting both in the tournament by doing so. Thus, what I am doing prevents dilution of votes.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
When you vote, you can give the same ranking to multiple games. Instructions for indicating ties in your votes are given just above the form for voting. So, for example, you may give the same ranking to both forms of Mir Chess if you have no preference between them.

no one wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC

I have the general background to understand and agree with what Mr. Good is saying, but I do not have the math to demonstrate the truth (or falsity, if that should be the case) of the argument. In words, it would be this: the conditions for voting have changed between the first and second ballots.

Specifically, ten games compete not only against all the other games, but also have a 'to the death' competiton with another member of the ten. By changing the conditions under which some but not all of the games are judged, there is an unavoidable bias introduced. A subset of the whole is being judged by different and more stringent standards. Thus the playing field is no longer level. The only question becomes how the two different groups are affected. I believe it is apparent that the result is to lessen the chances of the ten relative to the other games.

I am forced to predict that a lesser percentage of the singled out games will get into tournaments under these conditions. But this again may be misleading, because a closer examination of the ten shows some of them both represented and voted on in the first poll, CC/CRC and FC/FC100, and some that were represented by a single entry which was then split into two, GrandSD/GrandSR, GreatSD/GreatSR, and Mir36/Mir32. This also must skew the results. I believe I must predict that the seven initial entries that became ten will be underrepresented statistically, although one contest does not give an adequate sample.

On the specific question of Mir36 and Mir32, if there were no Mir36 in the tournament, I would put Mir32 in the exact place that I will put Mir36. However, because there are two Mirs in the tournament, one of them must be rated above the other, unless there are provisions for giving 2 different games the exact same rating. I cannot help but believe the lower-rated Mir has lost a little. Am I actually wrong in believing this?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
I've fixed the link to Berolina Chess, and the multiplier for determining the number of games is now 1.25.

carlos carlos wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
as usual, thanks for organizing this, fergus.

i also vote for as many games as possible.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC
I don't really understand the question, perhaps because I don't consider
Jeremy's objection a valid one. His concerns seem to presuppose an
incoherence in someone's preferences. On the one hand, someone has one
set of preferences that he expresses in his votes, and on the other hand,
he has a different set of preferences that leads him to be disappointed
with the results. You can't have it both ways. If someone accurately
votes his preferences, the only cause for disappointment in the results
should be that other people had different preferences.

But let's move on to your specific example. The most accurate way to rank
the games in question, i.e. those designated as very similar to other
games, in relation to the rest of the games is to rank each one as though
the other games it is very similar to were not in the poll at all. So when
you rank Mir32, for example, imagine that Mir36 is not in the poll, and
rank Mir32 accordingly.

no one wrote on 2006-07-18 UTC

Fergus, thank you for your quick correction of your previous statement.

Not everyone would be that forthcoming. It leaves me with a better understanding of how the system works. And in particular, I see that it is apparently true that truncating makes little or no difference. I will also agree that the Condorcet method will apparently give the least objectionable results.

I do think that the change in the way games are voted on in this second poll does allow for the possibility of gaming the vote a bit. Specifically, I think some of the variants that are called clones are sufficiently different that they should get an appreciable difference in ranking. My personal preferences tend more toward the outre, so I would like to play CRC, Falcon 100, Mir36, and the D versions of Great and Grand Shatranj, rather than the other versions. I would have been inclined to rate what I would call the lesser versions below some other games, but I want to play some version of these games, so I am now inclined to rate the lesser versions directly below the preferred versions, and other games below them, to assist in any tiebreaks.

My question to you becomes then: why should not this change in my voting pattern benefit these games? For example, I would like to play Alice. But some of the variants I would previously have rated below Alice I would now rate above Alice. Does, or better, how does the Condorcet method alleviate what I see as a skew in the results, that I have deliberately introduced to counterbalance what I see as Mr. Good's valid objection, that running these games against each other in the second poll dilutes their votes?

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